5 August 2020
The restaurant run by Kiko Moya and Alberto Redrado brings together fine food from land and sea on the menu, complementing Cocentaina's traditional cuisine with new culinary techniques.
The concept dates back to 1980, when Francisco Moya gave up hotel management and called Ramiro Redrado with a view to starting a catering business: L'Escaleta. Originally located in a basement in the historic centre of Cocentaina, Spain, the popularity of this restaurant amongst local and international clientele was such that the business rapidly grew until it relocated to an estate with a view of Mount Montcabrer in the Natural Park of Sierra Mariola in Alicante.
Forty years have passed since those early days and although the menu has expanded to include new textures and flavours, the way in which Kiko Moya and Alberto Redrado (second generation) champion traditional Alicante cuisine, with fresh seasonal produce and the best wines in the region, is still the restaurant's hallmark.
"We have combined hard work and dedication to continue offering the best food and wine"
'Success tastes better if it's shared and we have combined our hard work and dedication to continue offering the best food and wine," the restaurant's two owners explain.
Salty nougat from Alicante, salted red prawns, blanquette with Lima beans and black truffle, red mullet in a fish stock, and dry rice with baby cuttlefish, artichokes and baby broad beans are amongst the star dishes on the menu, showing the constant reinterpretation that characterises L'Escaleta.
It has a style of its own that blends simple local food with cutting-edge culinary techniques which has led them to win two Michelin Stars and three Repsol Soles awards. Its outstanding quality has also been recognised by the Royal Spanish Academy of Gastronomy, awarding Alberto Redrado with the title of "Best sommelier in Spain" during 2019.
'Our cuisine doesn't aim to adopt the easy approach of reconstruction, but to contribute something new by working with the flavours that we grew up with"
"Overtime, we have modified our cuisine. It has been aA slow process of searching for our own identity that is based on the flavours of the regionusing regional flavours and doesn't aim to fall into the easy approach of reconstruction it hasn’t come easily, but now we are proud to offer something unique,"Moya and Redrado explain.
A philosophy backed by the members of their team and their diners, who will be able to enjoy this special menu that L'Escaleta has designed for its 40th anniversary.
Between March and December 2020, the restaurant is organising ten dinners with the country's leading chefs to highlight its history and healthy haute cuisine.
Photo: Toni Miranda
On the first Wednesday of each month, 45 people will taste the latest creations by Kiko Moya and his first-class team, which will include such well-known names as Martín Berasategui, Joan Roca, Ángel León, Albert Adrià, Jordi Cruz, Paco Morales, Andoni Luis and Eneko Atxa, among others.
The lockdown period gave Kiko Moya time to rethink the future of L'Escaleta and the sustainable transformation the catering industry must pursue through the circular economy and local trade.
He spoke out about these and other reflections in Lifestyle Magazine's "Directos", where he defended the role of design inside and outside the kitchen. This is the goal he wants to achieve with XTONE,, Urbatek's compact sintered mineral, which defines the shape of his open kitchen.
Due to its hygienic properties (it prevents the release of volatile organic compounds), its resistance to high temperatures, scratches and hard knocks,plus sheer integrity as a material, XTONE is the perfect kitchen assistant for Moya. With its unlimited application in design and no joins, spaces that use XTONE benefit from its stylish continuity also making it safer.
The industrial design that shows throughout L'Escaleta is possible using Bottega Limestone and Acero with a Nature finish (XTONE) as the main collection. These large format tiles, inspired by natural stone and concrete, are used for the worktops as well as flooring.
Another series that has been used on the floor of the restaurant is Stuc Black Polished porcelain,with its sandstone texture creating a more natural feel. 'The kitchen is well thought out, quiet and intimate and everything in it is easily accessible making for an efficient and more courteous kitchen environment",the chef comments.